Uzumaki is a uniquely odd film based on the horror manga of the same name by Junji Ito. The film follows the events of a town slowly turned inside out by spirals. It was released in 2000, but has a blue and washed out 1970s feel to it, which is matched somewhat in the pace and general style of the film. The plot and stylings of Uzumaki make it similar in many ways to the classic Hausu.
The purposefully unrealistic and slightly wacky visual style really suits Uzumaki and I think filming it this way was the best way to create the right sense of weird, semi-amused, transfixed unease that the manga had. What I loved about the manga was its perfect blend of impossible strangeness and genuine spookiness. The scenarios are a millimetre away from laughable at times, but they keep just inside the uncanny valley, whilst the sheer imaginativeness of them keeps pushing further and further until you realise you are actually pretty spooked.
In the manga, the story stretches on with increasingly disturbing events and through it all, Kirie and Shuichi are really incredibly normal, trying to do the best they can for each other and everyone else inside a growing predicament. My single favourite thing about the manga has to be the ending. I won't spoil it, but for me it was a rare perfect ending - macabre, but incredibly sweet and touching. I find that most stories don't portray romance and love in a way that I can really relate to, but the ending of Uzumaki was absolutely spot on. I love it.
Unfortunately, the ending was where I think the film fell flat. Where the manga had a long and exciting ending with a winding and satisfying conclusion (which still left foggy mystery behind), the film just... ends (it was actually released before the manga series came to a conclusion).
What I do like about the film though is the style as mentioned above, with all its soft blues and greys, and the personalities of Kirie and Shuchi, which carry over nicely. This is particularly well illustrated in moments such as when Kirie looks through photos of the two of them as children. We see Shuichi's kindness in childhood, and again in adulthood when towards the end of the film he comforts Kirie as they stand next to the lake. These moments feel very genuine and are beautifully understated. To me, they are stand-out moments, and I like to think of Uzumaki as a story about Kirie and Shuichi's precious moments together more than anything. Of course, I also love the snail boys and mesmerising-hair-girl (she gives a brilliant performance).
In closing, here's a list of some of my favourite little things about the film adaptation:
Muted colour palette, personal moments between Kirie and Shuichi, that drawn out bike ride near the beginning, the smoking reporter, the mean boys laughing obnoxiously in class, childhood flashbacks, the delicious melon, Kyoko Sekino's affectations, Shuichi's perfectly combed parting, overzealous pottery appreciation.
I found some pieces of tissue paper and tracing paper and used them to make drawings over the top of collages. This has a nice effect, like I'm adding a new dimension to the pages, and making the drawings seem a little ghostly. It kinda reminds me of how thoughts work inside our heads. We don't think in a linear pattern, it's more like thoughts and ideas and imagined scenarios pile on top of each other, just like a collage. We can see some thoughts through others, like they're layered in transparent sections and overlapping - just like these pages. And since my goal for this book is to mimic the inside of my head, that seems like quite a nice thematic overlap.
It's time for a new diary again! I've decided this time to make my own diary. This gives me a bit more freedom with the construction and style of my entries, and is reminiscent of these old diary entries. I'm going back to a more cut-and-paste style, which feels much more fun because I can mix around lots of different things and not worry about mistakes. Perhaps I should bring in lots more scraps and patterns to give it a more chaotic look (which would match my 360 book too).
I'm going to make a new booklet each week, meaning I'll soon build up a great big stack of them, and they'll make a nice continuous homemade diary together (but still be nice and new as separate sections each week). Eventually I'd like to exhibit them alongside my 360 book and a bunch of stand alone pieces (paintings, embroidery, etc).
This week has felt like a much larger stretch of time somehow.
Some of the best things were: Ainsley Harriot couscous, rediscovering ACCESS, scrambled eggs, my mum buying Halloween sweets.
My 360 book is making more progress. I hope this book, when completed, will be a dense jumble of images, layer upon layer of colour and character. I think I might try to add more text as I build the book just to add a deeper level of potential interaction. Words in the book will make the book more connected to the zines and diaries I'm planning on exhibiting alongside it. Once the book is finished I'll go over it and add extra things to pages to create more dense layers of composition. I want it to be as intense and layered and thick as possible.
I spent Saturday night making this little doll named Peep, so I figured she should join my scanner adventures today. I want to make more dolls. Maybe bigger ones so that they're easier to stuff. It would be nice to have a family of them.
I also made some scan collages as a little extra something with items that were just sitting about nearby.
It's time for another Animal Crossing journal! Since last time, I've added some fun new things to Boy town (like this beautiful yellow bench and a little pink playground), I've explored my first dream towns, and I've finally acquired yellow hair! Let's go through the best pictures from the past week.
Here's Agnes. She's having a standing nap. Nice one, Agnes.
Here's me catching a googly eyed fish. Majestic.
KK Slider concentrates on the music whilst I scope out some more Bacardi Breezers.
Cousteau admires my flashy mayor's outfit.
The soft lighting inside the dream suite is a perfect setting to show of my new (very yellow) look. Basically, I am the sun.
For my first dream I went to the Nintendo dream town, where I enjoyed a nice Halloween vibe.
What I was most impressed by, naturally, was this beautiful egg. I love eggs.
Having to water all of these flowers wasn't phasing me yet.
Feeling very cute, surrounded by gyroids.
A very nice and magical evening with Agnes and Hamphrey.
I visited Aika Village and got a bit nervous in the Garden of Eden.
I decided to give my upstairs room some nice new wallpaper. I also have a laptop and lots of plants up here, so everything is pretty great!
Here's my little playground. I hope to modify this and add a few things later.
I've added stumps around a lot of paths. I'm not sure what Del thinks.
Me and my best muscular dog pal.
Hamphrey being extremely cute.
WHAT IS THAT THING COUSTEAU?! Oh, it's the same thing as the thing I'm already holding.
A little family of pine trees.
Who is this?
Mac the muscular dog gives me excellent advice as usual.